Soundbite: Former Sega CEO Tom Kalinske on telling the US Senate games aren't "just for kids"

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When the United States Senate held congressional hearings on video game violence in 1993 and '94, Sega CEO Tom Kalinske went to bat in defence of the industry — and the medium. But he faced major obstacles just getting the senators to understand that the audience for video games was much broader than teenage and pre-teen boys. In this excerpt from an interview I conducted with Tom earlier this year, he describes the experience and lays out his frustrations with the senators.

For more on the 93/94 congressional hearings and their impact on the industry, be sure to listen to episode 10. It tells the story of how the designer of Night Trap — one of the games lambasted in the hearings for its supposed glorification of extreme violence (it was actually about preventing violence against women) — responded to the witch hunt by making a game so friendly and inoffensive that it couldn't possibly be construed as encouraging violence: Dogz, a game about raising and caring for a virtual puppy. 

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The Life & Times of Video Games

The Life & Times of Video Games: A documentary and narrative-style audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today.

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